As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America

By Stephen Brooks

© 2006

One of the ironies of the post-Cold War world, in which the power of the United States is without rival, is that the costs of isolationism and ignorance are greater than ever. The temptation to imagine that the rest of the world matters less than before is enticing, as America basks in the triumphant glow of a world in which capitalism and democracy, under the aegis of American leadership, are thought to have vanquished all rivals. Although it is unlikely that Americans will come to pay much attention to the rest of the world anytime soon—except when their citizens are threatened or killed abroad, or when they are persuaded that the threat of foreigners doing harm at home seems real—their failure to do so cripples the ability of the United States to understand a world in which American interests, security, and prosperity are embedded to an unprecedented degree.

As Others See Us investigates the causes and consequences of the world’s perceptions of America. It proceeds from the premise that the images, ideas, and information that foreign populations have of the United States and Americans come from a number of sources, most of which are mediated. Some of these sources are American, Hollywood especially. Others are located outside the country, in the media, educational, religious, and political systems through which foreign populations learn about America. Any attempt to understand the "what" and "why" of foreign perceptions of America needs to look closely at these external determinants of how the image and interpretation of the United States is constructed in different societies.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.3in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED FEB 2006

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Quick Overview

"This is a gem of a book. It should be read by all who care about the role of the United States in the world." - Graham Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America

By Stephen Brooks

© 2006

One of the ironies of the post-Cold War world, in which the power of the United States is without rival, is that the costs of isolationism and ignorance are greater than ever. The temptation to imagine that the rest of the world matters less than before is enticing, as America basks in the triumphant glow of a world in which capitalism and democracy, under the aegis of American leadership, are thought to have vanquished all rivals. Although it is unlikely that Americans will come to pay much attention to the rest of the world anytime soon—except when their citizens are threatened or killed abroad, or when they are persuaded that the threat of foreigners doing harm at home seems real—their failure to do so cripples the ability of the United States to understand a world in which American interests, security, and prosperity are embedded to an unprecedented degree.

As Others See Us investigates the causes and consequences of the world’s perceptions of America. It proceeds from the premise that the images, ideas, and information that foreign populations have of the United States and Americans come from a number of sources, most of which are mediated. Some of these sources are American, Hollywood especially. Others are located outside the country, in the media, educational, religious, and political systems through which foreign populations learn about America. Any attempt to understand the "what" and "why" of foreign perceptions of America needs to look closely at these external determinants of how the image and interpretation of the United States is constructed in different societies.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.3in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    This is a gem of a book. It combines great insight and high quality scholarship in tackling a topic of enormous importance. Would that all books that I review had these qualities. It should be read by all who care about the role of the United States in the world, be they in academia or government.


    Graham Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    As Others See Us is an exciting volume about the United States in world politics. Through astonishing figures, graphs, and exacting scholarship, it brilliantly describes and explains what is right and wrong with the image of the United States and the consequences for international politics.


    Robert J. Jackson, author of Temptation of Power: The United States in Global Politics After 9/11 and Fletcher Jones Professor of Government and Director International Relations, University of Redlands California; Distinguished Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa

    As today's only superpower that is criticized when it acts, and criticized when it doesn’t act, Stephen Brooks’ As Others See Us is a much needed discourse on how people around the world establish their views on the United States of America. It is an illuminating read.


    Paul Cellucci, Former US Ambassador to Canada
  • Author Information

    Stephen Brooks is Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor and teaches political science at the University of Michigan. He has written several books on American politics including As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America (2006) and American Exceptionalism in the Age of Obama (2013).
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations
    Preface
    Introduction 

    1. The Three -Isms of Cognitive Isolationism 
    2. The American Dream Machine
    3. Mass and Elite Perceptions of America
    4. A Values Gap?
    5. Elite Perceptions of America
    6. What Drives Anti-Americanism?
    7. Why the World’s Perceptions Matter

    References 
    Index

     

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